Discovering new drinks through simple syrup experimentations.

Though my mixology skills are still somewhat limited, I am venturing into new territory through experimentation of flavored simple syrups. Ginger syrup led me to my cocktail “ah-ha!” last year. Since then, I have tried other infusions and sipped my way through various combinations.

Mixing homemade syrup with some sort of liquor and a some freshly squeezed syrup yields a wide variety of different drinks. My recipe creation is a bit like a slot machine. Start with 1 ounce of infused simple syrup. Let the wheel turn and land on any sort of liquor (2 ounces) and 1 ounce of any type of freshly squeezed citrus. Though certain combinations obviously turn out better than others, none have been losers.

Rhubarb is one of my favorite flavors. I’ve been watching my garden anxiously awaiting the emergence of the perennial stalks. I recently used my last bag of chopped, frozen rhubarb and I’m feeling culinarily insecure without a stash. After baking some rhubarb streusel muffins, I used the rest of my supply to make this syrup. The fragrant, pink sweetener was a delicious match for good tequila and a touch of lime.

Rhubarb Tequila Cocktails (or Rhubarb Margaritas)
for 1 cocktail

2 ounces good tequila
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce rhubarb simple syrup (recipe below)

Combine all ingredients with a handful of ice in a martini shaker. Shake for a minute until very cold and serve straight in a cocktail glass garnished with lime.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup Recipe
Makes about 1 cup syrup

2 stalks rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Chop rhubarb coarsely. Put the water, sugar and rhubarb in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a bowl and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Mash rhubarb to help release the flavor. Simmer for 10 more minutes. Strain the syrup and store it in a jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.